President Obama is driven by an ideology that offers him a perspective on the word “practical” that is different from the definition of the word as most Americans see it.
Our president has repeatedly referred to our economy as following “an approach that has never worked.” No one has ever asked him to explain what approach he meant, but his insistence on pushing for a “command-driven” economy and “income equality” should provide sufficient clues, even without the look the press failed to provide into his Marxist background.
Anyone who lived through the Cold War should recognize the dialectic that slipped into Mr. Obama’s campaign speeches from the start. References to our approach as “boom and bust” and the need to “redistribute” our wealth should have provided ample clues. Our nation is based on free enterprise and equality under the law to pursue it.
Economic equality is a purely Marxist notion based on the assumption that if someone ends up with more than you, part of their bounty is somehow yours. That is the zero-sum view of economics.
Free enterprise in America has always been about creating new wealth, with accumulated capital building businesses that pay employees a share of that wealth in exchange for the value they help create. The nation’s resources didn’t simply become wealth. Someone had to have the capital and initiative to use them in the creation of wealth.
The abuses of the approach Marx saw resulted from transfer of the serf model to large businesses — creating dependency through government controlled by the same people owning those businesses. Communism just officially merged the two, selling the illusion that the serfs controlled those governing them, while concentrating power into a ruling elite.
America has succeeded so far by preventing concentration of power by either government or businesses. Control of capital by the government was Marx’s prescription for subverting “advanced” economies such as ours toward the dependence and serfdom model that played out in the Soviet Union. The difference was necessary because Russia was already in serfdom before falling through bloody revolution.
We and the British that Marx wrote about had already developed too many notions and too much history of personal freedom to buy the Russian approach. Our revolution was about preserving and expanding those rights we had already gained as Englishmen.
The relative success of our history isn’t stopping Mr. Obama from pushing concentration of federal power and increased dependency, and advancing government control of capital. Obamacare and Dodd-Frank have been his biggest gains in trying Marx’s “approach.” We already have seen how that “approach” would ultimately play out. Some of us are just too young to remember.